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Budget woes threaten new Urasoe port development

Date Posted: 2005-02-25

Urasoe City had tremendous plans for developing its west coast, but money shortages are forcing a hard relook at the idea.

A key element of the plan was moving Naha Military Port to Urasoe, a project jointly worked out by Urasoe and Naha cities.

Mayor Mitsuo Gima had promised citizens a new town being built along the west coast, adjacent to Camp Kinser, but now there’s a question about where the money to build it will come from. The community likes the growth program, and has warmed to the added development.

Now, Naha City Military Port Manaagement Union has met in business session and created a 2005 budget for land reclamation in the area near the Marine Corps base. The plan calls for creation of a new Urasoe wharf, a new military port, a green area, a new coastal highway, and an oil tank supply area.

The Union has agreed to manage the project, which now has a ¥36,000,000 reclamation budget. Both Naha and Urasoe had agreed to the plan, but now Naha says “We only have ¥25,000,000 to spend on the reclamation.” Urasoe City’s Choichi Tokuyama, a member of the Assembly, says “Naha should keep its promise and do what the contracting papers say.”

Naha’s deputy mayor, Yoshiji Toume, says “as you can see, the west coast road construction is inside Urasoe City and belongs to Urasoe City. Urasoe should pay.”

Toshiro Tsutsumi, Senior Vice President of the Port, says “I know this is our matter and job. We should take care, but now there are two levels of construction going on along the west coast. The road is inside Urasoe City. That’s why the change.”

Urasoe City disagrees, and the issue remains open as to where the needed ¥11,000,000 will come from.

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